A quote from the Newark Star-Ledger and cover art that would be more appropriate on a Chuck Palahniuk novel, Doubleday has branded Low Town as literary fiction. If Polansky’s novel was a crime thriller, or historical fantasy, or urban fantasy, or magical realism, I’d probably go along with it. Unfortunately, Low Town is second world fantasy with wizards and sword fights. It’s as fantasy as something is like to get short of throwing in a dragon and an elf.
Sure, there’s a lot of crime fiction noir roots in Polansky’s writing, but readers expecting Elmore Leonard are going to be perplexed (although they might enjoy it). I’m not convinced Doubleday did a better job with the hardcover released either.
Comparing it to the UK version, I can only wonder who Doubleday is targeting with Polansky’s work.
While I don’t much care for the art, it does code fantasy much more clearly. Not to mention better titled.
What do you think of the Doubleday covers, particularly the new paperback one? Would the weird cover turn you off as a fan of genre?